Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Year

Well tomorrow is the day that Annabella officially turns one. I can't belive its been a year since 
Annabella Lynn 
Born 6lb 15.5oz
September 1, 2009

I thought that I would be a mess, I thought I would be in tears. My baby is growing up, and I've done quite a bit myself.

But I'm not, I'm excited, I feel the same excitement inside me, as if I'm turning a year old all over again. Because in a way, I guess I am. Tomorrow, I will have been a mother for a year. Its crazy to think that, because still when I look at pictures, it doesn't even seem real.

I've a lot about myself and the people around me in the last year. I've also (instinctively I guess) felt closer to the women in my family, and those that I've never met before. 

Being a mother has given me the desire to become the kind of person I want my daughter to look up to.

  My afternoons of shopping for clothes for myself has turned into play-dates with new friends. 

My lace bras and matching undies, have turned into a set of nursing bras and whatever's clean.

Nights out at danceclubs have turned into snuggling on the couch watching Curious George.

I still go to festivals, but the late night jams are rarely caught, and instead of  a hot sun waking me up. Its a hungry baby amidst the contents of our suitcase.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I won't be blogging tomorrow,  I want to make September 1st as happy for Annabella, as she made it last year for me

Monday, August 30, 2010

Miracle premature baby declared dead by doctors revived by mother's touch | Mail Online

Miracle premature baby declared dead by doctors revived by mother's touch

This story will reinforce the importance of skin to skin contact with newborns. Its a tear jerker, and an amazing story that everyone should read


So I entered a giveaway over at Nomie Eco.Ware and I won!

this adorable peace sign charm bracelet fromCharm Factory

be sure to check them out for LOADS of adorable charms, I'm looking forward to filling this one up for Annabella to wear one day.
Be sure to check out
for more great giveaways!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Breastfeeding in public (warning – offensive content) � B O H O M A M A M O J O

I just found this mama's site today, check out her HILARIOUS post on public breastfeeding. I think all you breastfeeding mamas will really enjoy it

Breastfeeding in public (warning – offensive content) � B O H O M A M A M O J O

Doing it herself

Its nice to be able to eat chicken parm, while she feeds herself!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright

As someone who for a long time, had terrible teeth (they still need some work done). I am very careful about helping Annabella acquire good oral habits. I think its important to keep teeth healthy because dental work is SO expensive, and the only option our healthcare plan provides us with is Western Dental, somewhere I'm not willing to take my daughter. 

 Here are some tips on how to keep your child's smile Healthy
  1. Teach them the importance of drinking water: among the other benefits, water helps flush bacteria that can cause plaque out of the mouth, I love drinking water, and I think its because my Nana always had some cold in the fridge, offer kids water instead of sugary drinks, or juices.
  2. Brushing; This seems obvious, but many people don't know the correct way to brush, next time you are at the dentist have your child learn the correct way to brush their teeth. Encourage them to use small circles and brush each tooth individually so that they can be sure to get all sides.
  3. Xylitol Gum:  Xylitol is an all natural plant based sweetener that has been proven to prevent cavities. Kids love gum, let them chew on one with xylitol rather then sugar. Trident has gum with xylitol geared towards kids! Trident has been around since 1967!
  4. Avoid sugary snacks at lunch: It can be tempting to send kids to school with a cupcake or candy bar in their lunch-box, but avoid it, That sugar sits on their teeth for the rest of the day. Save sugary treats for home, and make sure that kids brush when they are done, this will form good habits. Try putting some apples with peanut butter, or banana bread for a healthy low sugar snack
  5. Floss: Most cavities are found between the teeth, so be sure to teach your kids to floss, make sure that they get the sides of each tooth, and to be gentle with their gums. 
Teeth are so important, follow these tips and your kids will be on their way to healthy smiles

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Ten Tips for Planning a Unique Baby-shower

Baby Showers!
A fun way to celebrate the new little one coming into the world

A great way to spoil the expectant mommy

And of course, an excuse to eat cake

However, is it just me or can they get a little bit..... monotonous? Melted candy bars in a diaper, jordan almonds in a baby carriage wrapped up in tulle?

Why not switch it up a bit.... here are some of my ideas for baby showers that are a little bit different,.

  1. Have a Book Baby Shower: A friend of mine had this and it was great, it took a little bit of work from her mom to make sure there were no duplicates, but the party was great, and their little one will have these books with personal messages from all his friends forever! The party was so much fun, it was great to look through all the books from being a kid, and to see the new ones that I had never heard of. (I still like the old ones best)
  2. Have a crafty shower:  I knew a woman who made a quilt for the expectant mother, she then brought it to the baby shower along with a basket of embroidery thread and a book for ideas, she asked guests to embroider something personal on the blanket for the new baby. I saw the finished project and it was an heirloom gift to be treasured forever
  3. Mix it up: Women only showers are in the past, why not invite the boys so that the father to be can be celebrated? Invite the guys and tone down the girlishness, this is great for a mama that is a little bit shy around people, having her significant other there can really make her feel comfy.
  4. Fun Favors: Why not give favors that guests will actually use? Give special guests a frame that can hold two photos, take a picture of baby in bell and send it out later later when its time to send out announcements, along with a picture of the new baby. 
  5. Do it yourself favors: Set out a candy display with penny candy, give out bags for guests so that they can choose what candy they want, the display will also add whimsy to the room, a must for baby showers
  6. Special notes for the future: I saw a project somewhere online not too long ago, where every guest wrote a message on a little piece of paper, they then wrapped each message around a birthday candle, the candles could then be used each year for the child's birthday!
  7. Food: why not think healthy, try to avoid the typical casseroles, and greasy finger foods that are served, remember this is a baby shower, promote health, what about a diy salad bar, include chicken, or tofu for some extra protien. Summer showers are especially great for this because you can find lots of veggies at your farmers market.  For Dessert? Why not a do it yourself ice cream bar with vanilla ice cream and fruit to top it off?
  8. Name that Baby!: This game is especially fun, have each guest bring in a baby photo of themselves. Hang them on a board and number them, give each guest a sheet of paper, and have them write down who is who! See who can match the most! Its so much fun to look at old baby photos of your friends
  9. Petits Fours: Instead of a giant cake, why not serve individual Petits Fours? They are adorable and fit the baby theme well, it also allows for guests to control how much they get, rather then being given a big piece of cake they may not want, they can choose from a variety of different small cakes.
  10. Plant party!: I love fitting gardening in anywhere I can, so heres another great party favor idea, get pots for all your guests, a bag of soil, and a tray of plants, let guests pot thier own plants ( be sure to put gloves and an apron on the table so guests don't have to get dirty) Or get your green thumb out and prepot the favors for your guests! They will remember you everytime they water it.
Happy Babies everyone! For some great shower invitations check out Tiny Prints at

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 Tiny Prints Gift Code plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints Greeting cards (valued at $149.75). For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tips for Low Sodium Meals

Salt, we need it to live, it makes food taste better, its in.... everything

But its important to watch the sodium we take in, because too much of it can cause swelling, bloating, and can lead to kidney problems, high blood pressure, and heart failure.

Don't get me wrong, I love salt, but I try not too use too much of it when I cook, because I know that once the food makes it to the individual plates, the habit of grabbing the rooster full of salt is hard to stop.

So realizing, that my creations are only going to be flavored to the diner's delight, I try to cook meals that are low in salt, or flavor it to my taste (except in baking, where it is often needed for science reasons)

Another way to avoid too much sodium is to take a look at the ingredients (something I always recommend if you want to eat healthy) 
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) This should be avoided anyways, because its awful for you
  • Baking Soda: Not that you should avoid it, but maybe before using salted butter on that homemade biscuit, try some honey or jam
  • Baking Powder: Same recommendation as above
  • Disodium phosphate: An anti-caking agent
  • Sodium alginate: an emulsifier
  • Sodium nitrate or nitrite: is a preservative that changes the color of fish and meat fights botulism 

Another good way to avoid sodium is using fresh herbs and veggies,  avoid using pre-mixed spice packets because they are usually made with mostly salt. 

Make your own! Make your own dressings, that way you can control how much sodium goes into them,  a simple drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are really help to bring out the flavor of fresh veggies, without covering them up like traditional dressings. Try out this Balsamic vinegrette from Emeril. 

 This Recipe for Mediterranean butter, made with Mrs.Dash's  low sodium tomato-basil seasoning, is simple and easy served over veggies or fish. Just mix butter and the seasoning, and spread over the fish and veggies! YUM! I think I would like to try this over the veggies and potatoes, in foil on the grill while camping!

Another way to limit the salt intake is to make your own food, salt is naturally a preservative, my making your own fresh breads, dinners, sauces, and snacks, you can avoid the salt-laden preservatives that fill convenience foods (it will also cut down that waist line)

Eat home, and if you don't pay for quality. I am a big believer in this, I don't eat 'sit down fast food' Chain restaurants that you find in strip malls. The food is not healthy, even the salads often times have more calories then a piece of chocolate cake. They also use tons of salt to make the food so delicious.  I going to make this zucchini casserole for diner once a few more zucchinis ripen. I am always over salting my zucchini (I don't really like them) but this is made with  Mrs.Dash's lemon pepper seasoning blend, and I think it looks so good! 

Condiments are also high in salt, but you don't have to eat a dry sandwich. Try using some aIoli in place of the mayo, fresh basil pesto is another yummy low sodium sandwich spread.

Its always important to watch what we eat, try out some of these recipes and you're on your way to a healthier heart, and tastier food!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Baby-wearing on TV!

Just saw this! Wish I could see something like it on American TV!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How long have you been here

Cleaning out my drawers today, and I was surprised by this guy

Of course, I was home alone, so I freaked out (hence the clown picture frame that I knocked off the top of the dresser and into the drawer making the lizard jump causing me to scream again)

Not to worry though, I  accessed the situation and the little guy is now probably living underneath the lavender bush in the front yard. It required me to remove the drawer, and bring it outside so that the lizard could escape.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 New Amazing Birthday Cake Designs - Parenting.com (Page 50)

Getting some ideas for Annabella's birthday

30 New Amazing Birthday Cake Designs -


I was just introduced to the COOLEST photo product to hit the market since Polaroids. Its called the Fracture, what it does is print your digital photos right onto glass! They are then simple to mount and view! I think this product is incredible! 

The glass that Fracture prints on is super safe, it has no sharp edges, it is also shatter proof! You can pick a frame from the website and print it right onto the glass with your picture!

The  Fracture  images won't fade or scratch! And they will last in full sunlight 3-5 years! Not that I plan to hang any pictures outside in full sunlight but its always nice to have options.

The process is simple, upload your photo, customize the picture and choose the frame, they'll send it to you and you can hang it on your wall!

Check it out at www.fractureme.com

I found out about this on Twitter moms and if I'm one of the first 100 participants to write about this, I'll get to try a  Fracture, and writing a follow up post about my experience

Wish me luck!!

I wrote this blog post in response to a TwitterMoms RAMBO alert, making me eligible to get a Fracture picture frame for review. You can learn more about Fracture at http://www.fractureme.com

Five favorite family time ideas

Fall is almost here! I think that fall is most definitely my favorite time of year, The colors, the harvest, the smell, the games, the way the air feels.  Its the perfect time for creating family memories, and enjoying what the earth provides if you work for it a little!

That's why I'm sharing my five ideas for family time,

  1. Go Fruit Picking! Pick your own is a site that allows you to find local farms where you can go pick your own food! Not only do you get great fruit, but you can enjoy the farm itself, take great fall pictures, and have a blast and maybe a pie!
  2. Canning! Use up what you didn't eat from picking your fruit and can some food with your family, it is so helpful to have lots of hands while canning, and you can remember your fall all year long! Or can  up jam and save it for Christmas gifts! Home-canning.com has all the info you need to do it yourself
  3. Volunteer! Do something good for the community with your family, weather it be cleaning up a park, or working at a soup kitchen this will help you feel good inside, and instill caring in your children
  4. Play! Mini-Golf, football, soccer, go for a bike ride, or just go to the playground, playing with your kids outside is not only good for your relationship, but its good for your health. Stock up on that Vitamin D, because winter will soon have us cooped up inside.
  5. Read a book, why not pick a book that you can read a chapter from every day, I like the idea of picking a long book with a wonderful story (think Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time) books that may  have too many words for younger kids to understand,can become fun story-time when read out loud. Older children can also enjoy the story, and as a parent you will also like the book and reading out loud helps build vocabulary and will help you speak clearer in everyday situations.

Enjoy this fall while it lasts, my fondest memories are ones of fall time.  Get out there and enjoy it with your kids

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

What was I like in 2006

I was inspired by this post from Ashley over at How to Hide a tank and was inspired to share some of my own memories with you

Employed at Subway!

My best friend for life, we were joined at the hip at this point in time

On tour following Bob Wier and RatDog lead to meeting Keller Williams in Providence RI (seriously check out his stuff it rocks)

Practicing my modeling poses

Getting ready for nights out

We became pros at taking pictures of ourselves

Hippie Festivals were the weekend regular

And of course the fabulous and famous Hot Pink cast, a warning that roller skates and a day of margaritas don't mix with skate parks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Todays Scores!

Today was a successful day, which should provide for a productive week

My plans?
A raid of the wine cork barrel at whole foods should provide plenty of corks for this

I also scored the Gracie Dress Pattern pattern for just $4.00! At the used fabric shop in Sebastopol! This pattern is definitely worth the regular price of $15.00. It has 4 styles of dress and fits ages 6 months to 8 years! There are lots more styles at the  Portabello Pixie!

We also scored this on the side of the road this weekend

And someone is very anxious to learn to ride it!

See you all soon!

How does my garden grow?

Well now that we got the computer back working again, I can continue to update you on my garden!
I know its been a long time since This post, where I showed you my sugar snap peas, lettuce, and celery. 

The Lettuce was amazing, I had fresh salads for about a month and a half. I think next year I will try a different variety, because they didn't produce as much as I liked, next year I think I will try them in a shallow box. 

As for sugars snap peas, they DO NOT GROW WELL in pots, not nearly enough root space, they did wonderful until they ran out of room then they quickly got brown and would only produce small pods with one maybe two peas in them, the peas though, were delicious, and Annabella loved picking them off the vine

The Celery,was my favorite out of this day! It stayed small until its first feeding of Compost tea, then it bloomed out and the foliage turned bright green, here is a picture of it as of a few days ago its the one in the orange pot. The one in the purple pot is Lemon Verbena. It smells like Lemon PEZ.  I haven't figured out what to do with it yet, but I know it will be something fabulous

I attempted a California pepper this year (again after many failed attempts) so far we haven't eaten any peppers, but there are lots starting, and I hope to eat some.

This year I have quite a large herb collection, I'm working on a greenhouse to keep them going in the winter, its been so nice to have fresh herbs outside my door

Oregano, Marjoram and Sage

Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, and Kale

Thyme and Flat Leaf Parsley (orange pots)
Rosemary and Sweet Basil (purple pots) next year I'm going to plant more basil, I use so much!

Genovese Basil (yellow pot), Moss Curled Parsley (purple pot), lavender (green pot) and thats the thyme again in the orange

Here is are the result of the dill seeds that my mom gave me! This was delicious on fish!

My San Marzano Tomato is my pride and joy, planted in a  SMART POT it has not stopped growing, smart pots force the roots to form a good root ball and prevent them from getting root bound! 

They will be red soon, San Marzanos are pretty much the only tomato in a can that I'll buy, and I always get them imported from Italy, I'm anxious to see how mine compare.

The zucchini is doing great in a wine barrel, It keeps it a manageable size.

Annabella loves the squash blossoms and baby zucchinis

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 13, 2010

We're Back! And its our 100th Post~

How wonderful to be back in Blog Land!

For those of you just tuning in, we were going through some financial difficulties and the internet was not quite in our budget, sadly due to some past losses, my library card holds some serious debt. But nevertheless we are back and so happy to be here.

Being away from the internet has had its downside, directions, e-mails and staying in touch in general has proved to be sort of a problem. My supply of soap nuts dissapated quickly, and I found myself spending loads of money on laundry detergent! (However the oxyclean did come in handy when I accidentally spilled a glass of wine on Ryan)

All in all though life has been good, we have been enjoying life without a computer, which has meant lots of episodes of the The Sopranos! And Star Trek (I'd almost consider myself a trekie and I'm anxiously awaiting the next convention!)

Annabella keeps growing and getting bigger, she has mastered 'no' (although I'm not quite sure she grasps the concept of it yet)

I have been practicing my photography skills, and been busy using up my fabric stash (annabella now has a collection of dresses constructed of old curtains) I was lucky enough to win a copy of 

Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby

from Prudent baby, and I have been making some adorable projects from it, so far we have three dresses from curtains. Here's a picture of her farm dress that I made from some old kitchen curtains and a scrap of fabric from the free box outside the fabric store

A chicken with velcro chicks made from scraps, has become a new favorite toy

I also made this quilt which only cost me about $8 because everything came from the discount fabric store!

It was originally meant for etsy, but Annabella claimed it
Annabella has found a new interest in cooking with mama

Some kind relatives sent us a Christmas dress (it should fit perfect in about two years when she will wear a 3T)

Feeding herself has been a little complicated but less messy then expected thanks to the Boon Catch Bowl - Toddler Bowl with Spill Catcher, Blue/Greeen
but not totally without a mess!

We also got a swing and tied it in an old oak tree, this has provided for hours of fun and it only cost us about $24 for the swing!

I'll have another post later with updated garden pics and some pictures of our trips to a few rivers!